Two types of subsidised ramps for HDB residents, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Two types of subsidised ramps for HDB residents

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Elderly residents who have to navigate multiple steps at the entrance to their older Housing Board flats can soon get subsidised ramps that will make their lives easier.

From tomorrow, eligible residents can apply for the ramps. HDB will offer two types of ramps - portable and customised - under its Enhancement for Active Seniors (Ease) programme.

Previously, only flats with a single step at their main entrance were eligible for the subsidised ramps.

There are about 170,000 HDB flats with such multi-step entrances, a feature from some slab blocks built in the 1970s and 1980s to offer privacy from passers-by.

In a statement yesterday, HDB said the two new ramps are suitable for the majority of flats with multi-step entrances.

The portable ramps are suitable for flats with sufficient space at their entrance while customised ramps are fabricated according to a unit's entrance and available space, and are an option for flats along a corridor.

Without subsidies, a portable ramp would cost $700 while a customised one would be $1,600.

Under Ease, the Government pays up to 95 per cent of the cost of the improvement items.

Residents whose flats are undergoing the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) can opt for the items under Ease as well, while those without HIP can apply directly to HDB.

To be eligible, the flat owner must be a Singaporean with at least one household member aged 65 and above using a wheelchair, or aged between 60 and 64 and requires help with daily activities such as bathing or feeding.

The HDB said that there would be some flats where ramps cannot be installed due to site constraints like the block layout or a lack of corridor space.

To address such situations, the agency, with the help of private companies, has designed a lightweight and compact mechanical wheelchair lifter suitable for use in HDB estates.

It costs $3,920 and the Government will subsidise half the cost for Singaporean households. There is also an annual servicing fee of about $80.